Calgary

'We haven't seen something like this since the '70s': Bike shops report 'phenomenal' leap in sales

Bike shops are struggling to keep up with the demand as Calgarians seem to have rediscovered cycling as a safe way to get outside and active during the pandemic.

'The first nice weekend of April, it just exploded, absolutely exploded'

The COVID-19 bike boom

CBC News Calgary

8 months agoVideo
2:07
Find out why bike shops around North America are selling out during the COVID-19 pandemic. 2:07

Bike shops are struggling to keep up with the demand as Calgarians seem to have rediscovered cycling as a safe way to get outside and active during the pandemic.

"We call it COVID chaos. Bike sales, who knew in a pandemic that we would have significant increases," said Brent Fasick, owner of B & P Cycle and Sports.

Fasick says his store in southeast Calgary was hit hard by the pandemic — at first. 

"At the beginning of March, it was pretty scary. Basically zero business. I had to lay off all the staff, for the most part," he said.

"And then, the first nice weekend of April, it just exploded, absolutely exploded. It was crazy.

And with the surge in cycling this spring a seemingly continent-wide phenomenon, Fasick is competing for depleted stock with shops all over North America.

Brent Fasick, owner of B & P Cycle and Sports in Calgary, says business has been booming this spring. (Monty Kruger/CBC)

"Typically at this time of year, if we run out of bikes, we just order more. Or we typically have more coming," he said. 

"But now we've cleaned out the warehouses."

That means some customers won't get their new bikes until August.

Repair shops are busy, too. Brian Feick, who owns a Velofix franchise, says he's had a massive uptick in appointments this year compared with last year.

"And the appointments just keep rolling in, so I don't think there's going to be any change in momentum," he said.

"And I was talking to some of the shop owners in Calgary and they cannot keep bikes on the floor. They're selling out quickly."

Feick says it's nice to see that people are getting back on bikes.

"The uptick in bikes has been phenomenal. We haven't seen something like this since the '70s," he said.

Bicycles seem to have surged in popularity this spring as people look for a safe way to get some exercise and recreation during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Monty Kruger/CBC)

With files from Monty Kruger

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

now